Necropsy results back for dog who died in Iditarod

Necropsy results back for young Iditarod dog

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The necropsy results are back for a young dog who died during the 2017 Iditarod race. On Saturday, the Iditarod Race Committee released initial findings with regards to the death of two-year-old “Smoke” who died unexpectedly on Friday during air transit from Galena to Anchorage.

According to the release, the gross necropsy revealed that Smoke apparently died from hyperthermia – further testing is expected. The committee stated, “The sequence of events that contributed to the warm temperature within the aircraft are being reviewed.”

Smoke was part of veteran musher Scott Smith’s team – the dog had been dropped in Manley Hot Springs on Tuesday, March 7, with a wrist injury.

Smoke’s death was the second in this year’s race – the first dog to die was a two-year-old male named “Deacon.” Deacon was part of veteran Iditarod musher Seth Barnes’ team – the dog collapsed and died on March 9, just prior to Barnes’ arrival at the Galena checkpoint. The results of Deacon’s necropsy have not yet been released.

(Image via Pixabay free images/not a photo of Smoke or Deacon)

Actor Patrick Stewart showers adopted pit bull with kisses – read the heartwarming story here.

Patrick Stewart and dog




34 replies
    • Nancy Raymond says:

      I too agree, I find the Iditarod to be a cruelty contest – there is no concern for the dogs well being whatsoever, its the arrogant humans whose ONLY concern is to win no matter what – two dogs died this year and that is two too many. This idiotic race should be shut down permanently – it is nothing more than blatant animal cruelty.

  1. Linda Szymoniak says:

    How many more dogs need to die during this torture fest before it is shut down, once and for all? Let a couple of the humans – who are there by their OWN choice (unlike the dogs, who are taken there by their humans) – die the same way the dogs die and see how quickly action is taken. This is crazy. Just as horrible as horse and dog racing at tracks.

  2. Solveig Pettersson says:

    Have it Good in “dogsheaven ???????????? play whith thé Other dogs” and sleep well ????????????????

  3. Marsha says:

    Smoke FROZE to death in the belly of the plane.Shame on the airline.personnel for allowing this..The belly is only as warm/cold as the outside…The higher altitude the colder the air… Sorry your humans failed you Smoke!!!

    • Lucy Shelton says:

      The initial necropsy report stated “hyperthermia” condition of having a body temperature greatly above normal. I’m not defending the Iditarod here, but the “dropped” dogs are traditionally transported by aircraft. Just, please, be careful about what you say.

    • Lucy Shelton says:

      The above preliminary necropsy indicated that “Smoke apparently died from hyperthermia – further testing is expected. The committee stated, ‘The sequence of events that contributed to the warm temperature within the aircraft are being reviewed’.”

    • Jean says:

      Please try reading next time. The story says he died of HYPERthermia… NOT hypothermia. That means he became over warm ( did not freeze at all ). Perhaps a malfunction in heating system.

  4. Vickie says:

    I agree. Selfish humans. Horse and dog races, dog and rooster fighting. Rodeos, circus with animals, zoos, animal and big sea life displays for humans to come watch. Bull fighting and list could go on. Selfish. Greed.

  5. Lucy Shelton says:

    This is morally wrong. This race averages about 3 dog deaths per race (149 since 1973), and since it is logical to assume this trend will continue, one can only conclude that the organizers, mushers, and spectators care more about the entertainment, and are willing to look the other way when dogs are likely to die in every race – or they would stop doing it.

    Approximately 1,136 dogs (71 mushers each with about 16 dogs) started this race. About half the dogs don’t finish due to illness, injury, exhaustion, or not wanting to continue. Most of these dogs are chained (considered inhumane and illegal in many communities) their entire lives to their small, dilapidated enclosures, in their feces and urine, unable to play or interact with their kennel mates, unless they are training,—all at the behest of their mushers. They are treated as slaves at the ready to perform.

    Sponsors should withdraw their support for this cruel and pointless activity. People who truly care about animal welfare do not tolerate exposing animals to such hazards so likely to kill them.

  6. Dawn Hubbard says:

    I agree totally about it being just human GREED! I have always hated it and hoped for a news brief this year but not the tragic end of “hypothermia”!!! How absolutely stupid negligence and horrible for the dog! And the other 2-yr old!! Paws and legs damaged and not treated with love and compassion, ever! Please keep us posted with ALL the info you can get?? Thanks!

  7. Heather Finley says:

    If one stops and thinks about it,in Alaska (where this race originates) these dogs are left outside all year round ALL over the state because that’s how they are used IN ALASKA!!

    However i do believe that they should shut it down because of the inhumane way the dogs are treated and with so many dying for a race. But it still just a small part of what really goes on everyday in Alaska. Imagine how many die a day for being left out in the cold?? It’s not just the race is where they are dying its EVERYDAY!! Now stop and think about that….

    • Jerry Bowers says:

      Heather you are beyond clueless. Dogs aren’t dropping dead and it’s not abuse to leave them outside. They are made for it! My golden puppy used to pant and beg to go outside at -30
      She was too hot in a 70 degree house.
      What’s next with you people? Put up heater stations so moosecwont get cold?

      • Sue says:

        Try giving the dogs a CHOICE, and see what they choose. Let them find their own comfortable place, instead of chaining them. I keep my house cooler (at around 58-60 degrees), and both the heavy coated and the short coated dogs choose to be inside most of the time, and when it’s time to retire for the night, they choose comfortable beds inside.

        Dogs are not equipment. They are living beings, and loyal friends.

      • Sue says:

        My reply didn’t post the first time. If it is out in space, awaiting moderation, please put that one in and not this one.

        Jerry, the racing sled dogs are not given a choice. They are put on short chains and not given a chance to choose their environment. I keep my house cooler (58-60 degrees), and both the heavy coated and short coated dogs prefer to be in the house most of the time. And when it is time to retire for the night, they ALL CHOOSE a comfortable spot in the house, and desire to stay there, even though they have 24/7 access to outdoors.

  8. Red says:

    So many races, and shows and events that used to happen need to STOP!! Now that we know the torture and abuse animals are subjected to for human enjoyment is nuts!! Find something else to do than the Iditarod, horse racing, horse shows (prancing) bull fighting….. the list goes on and on and on…..PLEASE!!! Find a hobby and show that does not cause pain and suffering to animals!!!!

  9. Sue says:

    People need to STOP their self-centered behavior. Lack of compassion for other living beings is historical. Using and abusing women. Using and abusing those who have no resources to fight back. Using and abusing minorities. There is no larger minority than the innocent animals. They have no one to stand up for them against their abusers, except people who don’t like injustice. I don’t like injustice, and I don’t like seeing bullies, reveling in becoming legends in their own minds, and some prizes, not caring about their insensitive treatment of other living beings – in this case, other living beings who would to to hell and back for them, voluntarily. Taking advantage of that just makes you EVIL.

  10. Sandra Bell says:

    Iditarod supporters will continue their obsession, no matter how many dogs die as a result and no matter how miserable, boring and uncomfortable their lives are throughout the rest of the year. Dogs don’t matter to mushers and their minions. Dogs are equipment — useless and expendable when it breaks down. Sled dog races are all about $$$$$$ and egomania. What happens to the purpose-bred puppies who are not the most robust? What happens to the used-up and the elderly dogs? After decades of Iditarod races and many thousands of dogs used, one would think there would be a glut of old dogs, who were runts of the litter or elderly retired. Where have they all gone? I think we all know the answer to that.


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